“BUT OFFICER, I WAS GOING THE SPEED LIMIT” – 25 MAY 2021

Remember, you cannot make this stuff up. I have adventures, and I am blessed (thank you, God). I am fine, well, and always “accept and adjust.” Remember when in my Naulakha post I shared a friend’s tale — “do you know how fast I was going, officer, when you jumped out? You could have been killed”  — think I now have an equal (if not better) tale.

It has been hard getting momentum back to get out and play with LadyRABIII (1965 Airstream Caravel), but today was the day finally for a maiden voyage to head to Dr. Dewey’s to get the rear bumper welded back on for safety and aesthetics. I headed off to Weston a tad after 1PM. Heard a strange noise from “my lady” but could have been from rust on a brake pad from inactivity, and in a couple miles it went away. So, no problem.

I got to Weston, and Dr. Dewey went to work.

See that green speck in the background? BLACK BEAUTY’s sister albeit in BRG.

I started up to head home, “hey Dewey, there is that sound again.” It will go away, and it did. Wow, driving home was easier than going. Ray is getting good at towing “his lady.” Speed limit safely all the way, cornered well, my choice in rides to escort her (2001 Ford F150) was just perfect.

You know US Route 5 heading south into Bellows Falls. Coming down the hill into the village the speed limit changes to 30 MPH (hey I am driving American so thinking MPH vice KPH). You know the stretch – flashing speed sign (thanking you for being at the right speed) then the police station, fire station, J&M Towing, and Lisai’s where I love to grocery shop. Approaching the police station I see a cruiser pull to the curb – the blue lights come on, I slide past. The cruiser comes out, siren blaring. Must be on a call, I pull over to make room.

Cruiser pulls up behind me, angles to block the road. Young officer comes up to me. My hands on the wheel to show I do not have a weapon in my hands. Young female officer comes up to me (just a kid), and I say, “hi officer, I know I was going the speed limit.” “Yes you are,” she replies, “but did you know you are on fire?” Well, Ms “I” think that beats your tale!

I get out as the fire trucks roll up (remember the fire station is just yards away). The gracious and polite officer tells me a Cota and Cota driver behind me had called the station advising flames were coming out from underneath LadyRABIII. We crawl under. Right side wheel is leaning out and rubbing body. Fireman pops hub cab and starts spraying something to cool the wheel. It smells. I go inside to check for fire – none. Heat sensor shows major problem underneath.

What can I say? Brief conversation with police officer, fire department, and the towing company that shows up (they were the closest to me – hey, I am talking feet). Do I try driving four and a half miles home? Do I want to lose the wheel on the bridge under reconstruction and screw up the bridge for hours? Do I want to lose the wheel on Route 12, and maybe not relate this tale? Load her up fellows. And we did.

I did the right thing – for everyone. And, everyone was so helpful and gracious. Our Bellows Falls members are to be praised. The officer disappeared before I could hug her – well, maybe someday.

The plan, besides exploring in LadyRABIII, was to “party” in the back of “44” — and she is in position now for those parties.

And, her tow vehicle does not know what is next.

There are lessons here, and hopefully you know me by now. First, ACCEPT and ADJUST, there is always someone worse off than you are. And, for whatever reason I have been blessed, and Cathy and God are watching over me. There could have been a bad and final ending.

Count your blessings, love, RAY

The morning of the 26th, I sent the below email of thanks to the Bellows Falls Police Department, Fire Department, Town Manager, and Cota and Cota. What could have been a very bad situation was handled professionally and extremely well. At a minimum a note of thanks was in order – RAY

———————-

This is a note of thanks – yesterday my neighbors in Bellows Falls were special friends, professional and exceptional. 

If I heard correctly from the Police Officer who pulled me over it was a Cota and Cota driver who had called the station to report flames were coming out from under my 1965 Airstream trailer as I was entering the village. If I have that correct, thank you to Cota and Cota.

Pretty sure it was Officer Jillian Cenate who stopped me. Well, going the speed limit, I thought she was going to a call, but when I pulled over she blocked Route 5 and came up to me. “I know I was going the speed limit,” I told her. “Yes, you were, but did you know you are on fire?” Professional and courteous, Bellows Falls has a fine representative with her servicing the force and the public.

Only began talking and crawling underneath with her and the Fire Trucks show up.  Chief McGinnis and his sergeant were there. If others, they were professional, doing their job without my even aware of what was happening. I guess when in a situation like this it is hard to take in all that is happening. But, with trained professionals, things just happen

Yes, there was a problem, and looked like the wheel was about to come off. Discussion back and forth about what to do. Even with less than five miles to go – a real problem could evolve. I decided to do the right thing. Somehow J&M Towing walked up (I was feet from them, and yards from the Fire Department – blessed, yes, and thank God and my late-bride every day). I could not find an email contact for J&M, and did not get names, but believe the owner was there. They loaded up my Airstream, and the young courteous and professional driver placed “her” in my backyard for a summer’s rest.

I have nothing but praise for all involved in what could have been a bad situation. Thank you, yours, RAY

I almost immediately received these replies back:

Ray:

It is always refreshing to hear positive feedback on our public safety staff.  They work very hard in a lot of tough circumstances and always strive to serve the public.

I really appreciate you taking the time to acknowledge them.

Thanks,
Scott Pickup
Municipal Manager

and,

Ray, Thank you for the kind words.  The employee that call it in was Ed Carello on of our plumbers who is also a volunteer fire fighter.  We are very proud of his actions and showing great character in a potentially dangerous situation.  We are glad you and your airstream are in good shape.
We wish you a happy summer and hope you are able get out and do some camping.

Warm regards,
Casey 

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2 Responses to “BUT OFFICER, I WAS GOING THE SPEED LIMIT” – 25 MAY 2021

  1. Scott says:

    Holy smokes (and fire)! An investment in a new axle might be in order here. Then you’ll be sure you are riding on safe equipment.

    Glad you’re safe and your playhouse is safely in the back yard.

  2. Chris says:

    So glad you are safe, Ray. Sheesh! Be careful out there!

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